With Ganeshotsav hardly a month away, preparations are in full force in Hamrapur village in Raigad district where the tradition of making Ganpati idols is a century-old one. Nearly 50-60 workshops are buzzing with activity and finishing touches being put on the idols, which would soon be transported to Mumbai and other parts of the state.
Pradip Hazare, one of the workshop owners told SUNDAY MiD DAY that he had prepared four tents to keep the idols of different sizes separately. “I have many people working with me for over three decades now,” he said.
In fact one of his employees, Prabhakar Swaminath Bhoir is a graduate who specialises in sketching the most critical part of the idol -- the eyes. Many of the idols are being shipped abroad too from here. “A few will be sent to the West Indies on August 20. Every year there are approximately 30,000 idols, which are sold from my workshop,” he claimed.
Hamrapur Grampanchayat sarpanch Tanuja Mahendra Patil said only a little over 1,600 people lived in the village till a decade ago. This has now increased drastically to over 4,000. “We charge 90 paise per sq ft for the space. Sadly, the government does not help us. There is no electricity for hours, so the workshop owners have fit their own generators to finish the idols.”